Herpes in the throat is an uncommon condition. This disease can be caused by either of the two viruses, which are involved with herpes -- Herpes Simplex Virus-1 (HSV-1), or Herpes Simplex Virus-2 (HSV-2), depending on the source of infection. However, it may also occur if the virus is transmitted by oral sex from infected genitals. Although the symptoms associated with throat herpes are similar to symptoms seen in oral herpes, this form of herpes may be a bit serious, and it could have a tendency to spread.
The Connection with Oral and Genital Herpes
» Oral herpes is mostly caused due to HSV-1. This condition exhibits symptoms, such as cold sores and small blisters, which are restricted to areas, like the lips, tongue, gums, and the palate. It is mostly transferred by kissing, smooching, and other forms of intimate contact.
» Genital herpes is caused due to HSV-2. There are small blisters seen in the genital areas, which are accompanied by itching, or burning sensations. It is mostly transferred by sexual intercourse with an infected person.
» Genital herpes can cause oral herpes through oral sex and vice versa. However, as oral herpes is caused by HSV-1 and genital herpes by HSV-2, this condition is very rare.
Thus, oral and genital herpes are the most common types of herpes seen. Herpes in the brain and throat (which is called herpes simplex encephalitis) is mostly seen in immunocompromised (people with low immunity) patients, such as AIDS patients, cancer patients, etc., (who are on radiation and chemotherapy treatment) or in patients who have undergone organ transplant. Thus, it is a relatively opportunistic infection compared to oral, or genital herpes.
Transmission of Throat Herpes
Throat herpes can occur if there is oral sex between a male -- who has genital herpes and a female and vice versa. Sometimes, if a person has genital herpes, he may touch the lesions, and if he does not wash his hands properly, the disease may spread to the lips, oral cavity, and the throat. It can also occur if there is further spread of oral herpes. People undergoing treatment for herpes can still pass on the infection to their (sex) partner. Normally, this mode of transmission is mostly seen in immunocompromised patients.
Symptoms of Throat Herpes
- There may be general symptoms, like fever, malaise, and headache.
- Cold sores in the form of small boils, or blisters are seen near the palate, close to the uvula. These may burst, leading to painful scars along the palate. This is one of the main symptoms of throat herpes.
- There may be difficulty in eating and swallowing.
- Burning sensation in the mouth is felt.
- In certain severe cases, the patient may even complain of stiff neck, or difficulty in breathing.
The first line of treatment would involve the use of antiviral drugs, like acyclovir and famciclovir, which will be helpful in herpes treatment and cure. Use of topical antiviral creams will also help in treating symptoms of herpes in throat. A good and nutritious diet with lots of water is necessary to stay hydrated. There are also certain natural herbs (like Siberian ginseng, Echinacea purpurea, etc.) to cure herpes.
The Magic of Yoga and Coconut Oil
Yoga, surprisingly, is said to be effective in the treatment of herpes. HSV has no known cure, and once a person is affected by it, he/she stays affected by it for a lifetime. Low immunity and stress are dominant factors for you to feel affected by herpes. Yoga being a great stress reliever can prove to be very helpful in this case. It is said that herpes outbreaks have a very close relation with stress. By not stressing yourself, you can reduce the count of herpes attacks. Yoga asanas, such as Virasana (Hero Pose), Mrtasana (Corpse Pose), and Balasana (Baby Pose) may be of great help for the disease.
Although it is believed that herpes has no cure, some people suffering from it have experienced great relief on consumption of coconut oil every day. All you have to do is add 3 tbsp. of coconut oil in a glass of warm water, mix it well, and drink it. If that is not quite possible for you, then just add coconut oil to your food while cooking it. It may work wonders.
Herpes can also be contracted as an infant. If the mother of the infant is suffering from herpes, then the child is more likely to be infected by it, too. In infants, herpes can be life-threatening and fatal. Once the disease is contracted, it can lead to further complications as it can spread to various parts of the body by touching the infected area. Fever and convulsions can also be some of the outcomes of the disease.
- Avoid performing oral sex on a person infected with genital herpes.
- Also, avoid receiving oral sex from a person showing signs of oral herpes.
- Use of condom during sexual intercourse helps to reduce the risk of transmission of herpes and other sexually transmitted diseases.
- Do not share toothbrushes, drinks, or mouthguards with an infected person.
- Wash your hands whenever you touch sores, and concentrate more on your hygiene.
- Seek medical care regularly.
- Avoid having multiple sex partners.
You can always seek more information on herpes from your doctor. It is very difficult to treat symptoms of throat herpes as there is still no final and definitive cure for it. So like they say, prevention is always better than cure.
Disclaimer: The information provided in this article is solely for educating the reader. It is not intended to be a substitute for the advice of a medical professional.